philosophical mutts and zen master cats

GUARDIANS OF BEING is a collaboration between Eckhart Tolle (words) and Patrick McDonnell (pictures). I have enthused over it since its publication in 2009, and have recommended it to everyone! The book describes beautifully and playfully how philosophical mutts and zen master cats help in grounding human beings—call us out of our reveries, our worries, and our self-absorption, and plant our feet back on the ground of the here and now. 1

“This wonderfully unique collaboration brings together two masters of their fields, joining original words by spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle with delightful illustrations by Patrick McDonnell, the creator of the acclaimed comic strip Mutts. Every heartwarming page provokes thought, insight, and smiling reverence for all beings and each moment.

More than a collection of witty and charming drawings, the marriage of McDonnell’s art and Tolle’s words conveys a profound love of nature, of animals, of humans, of all life-forms. Guardians Of Being celebrates and reminds us of not only the oneness of all life but also the wonder and joy to be found in the present moment, amid the beauty we sometimes forget to notice all around us.” (Publisher)

I originally posted this as a collection of wordless images as a tribute to my sister’s birthday and titled it, “happy birthday, mary alice umperdinker.”

(Yes, it’s an in-joke.)

(Yes, it’s sophomoric.)

(And yes, so are sister and me.)

I have expanded it a wee bit to make it a book review of sorts. 2

Philosophical mutts and zen master cats

Here then is my book review: “It will take you about twenty minutes to read Guardians Of Being and you will enjoy each of those passing minutes. The first time. It will take longer the many, many times you reread it and you will savor each moment as it lasts forever.”

FEATURED IMAGE: This is the page as it appears in the book. I had to tweak the colors and darken it to make it appropriate for use as the image as the top of the page. “Appropriate” in that the white print in the title had to have a dark enough background to be readable.


1   There is a hardcover edition (2009) and a paperback edition (2011), both from New World Library  and very easily found for pennies each on Amazon.

2   It may be sophomoric, but at least I didn’t make any fart or poopy joke!


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